We all know about trust in our personal relationships – absolutely critical for the long-term viability of the relationship. But what about our professional relationships – amongst our peers, the relationships between our functional groups? Nearly all of us can relate to a situation in which a project fell behind, a deadline was missed, or a meeting was more acrimonious than necessary. Often the discussions degrade into blaming or some other anti-pattern, nearly always with an us vs. them theme.
Working together involves a shared goal – we’re collaborate because whatever it is we’re doing is bigger than what we’re able to do alone – collaboration becomes necessary to achieve the goal. But when we get into those anti-patterns – we loose site of that shared goal, or perhaps there’s other goals competing for those same resources.
Have a discussion, understand (or maybe discover) what your common shared goal is. Sometimes it’s just reaffirmation of a share commitment, but sometimes your partner organization had to shuffle priorities and your work isn’t as important. Have a discussion, seek to understand, and build trust.
How do you build trust?